Experiments with farming

Experiments with farming

Among them is a farmer from Hagaribommanahalli taluk’s Sonna village.

The farmer in question is Sanchi Basavaraj. He has taken up sandalwood cultivation on his eight acres of dry land. He has planted sandalwood saplings just a month ago. The day was also marked by a symposium on organic farming, dairy, and cultivation of timber in forest land.

The farmer has planted as many as 1600 saplings. What’s unique about his project is that a two-litre water bottle is placed next to each plant, thereby supplying water by way of drip irrigation.  

Also, to ensure that the sandal saplings don’t wither in the heat, they are grown under the shade of honge trees.  The bottles that are placed next to the saplings have small perforations at the bottom, and this water is allowed to seep into the soil for at least eight days. Also, the water used in the bottle comes comes from a huge tank in Basavaraj’s farm, which has been built to collect rainwater.   Because sandalwood is a saprophyte, tur is also planted alongside.

Basavaraj has already successfully grown a variety of crops including neem, gooseberry and honge. He has employed mulching techniques on his farm. “I am determined to grow sandalwood on this dry, arid land. This will motivate other small farmers to take up sandal cultivation on their land,” explains Basavaraj. One hectare of land is sufficient to grow as many as 500 sandalwood trees. If these trees are properly taken care of, it is possible to make crores of rupees in 20 years, calculates Basavaraj.

The farmer has taken up organic farming techniques on his farm which comprises 1,600 sandalwood saplings, 400 neem, 350 honge, 80 gooseberry and 175 mango saplings.

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